Stage One: Where are you now?
This stage encourages you to take a really good look at where your creative business is now. Planning effectively involves about your strengths and weaknesses. This stage will guide you through self-evaluation and help you to understand and assess your business model. After using these tools, you'll be ready to think about the future.
1. Evaluating the Business:
Tools for assessing your current position Evaluating your business A Dynamic framework for reviewing all aspects of your business: The quick business health check: A short glance to operational aspects, and motivators inside your company
2. Business model analysis
Looking at where your money comes from and how you spend it, taking care about profitable products, or services, Understanding your financial model Activity Model - understanding your portfolio: Assessing your portfolio of activity One size fits all?: Assessing different points in an organization’s lifecycle Being a company director: Considering the responsibilities of being the Director of a business Choosing right business form: to support you in analyzing your business’ purpose and type of business.
3. Thinking the Unthinkable:
Helping you spot warning signs and understand what happens when a business is in trouble Recovering your business: An approach to considering what happens when things start going wrong Trouble ahead: the warning signs: A checklist for spotting the warning signs that there may be troubles ahead
Stage Two: Where are you going?
This stage is designed to help you consider what your options are for the future. This is a chance to start thinking about where you want to be in the long term. This stage will offer guidance on how you might respond to future opportunities and manage potential threats. After using these tools, you'll be ready to put together realistic and effective plans.
A range of approaches for helping you to imagine possible futures Thinking in three horizons A tool to help you think about the present, the short-term and your long term aspirations Future Perfect An approach to thinking about the future direction of the business
2. Business processes
Tools for assessing and developing how you do things Improving your business processes: This technique is appropriate for modeling big problems and focusing activity to solve them Mapping out business processes: Utilizing flow charts to help improve organizational processes
3. Capacity for change
A tool for thinking about how your business responds to change Decision-making Tools for developing your decision making Decision making styles: A matrix to help you consider the nature of decision making that is needed in different situations
4. Decision making process
An introduction to the 5 steps of decision making Six Thinking Hats®: A creative thinking tool to help you make decisions through deliberately taking different perspectives
5. Marketing and communications
A tool for understanding different communication styles Communication style preferences: A tool to encourage you to think about the approaches you use in communicating your vision
Stage Three: What do you need?
This stage helps you to shape your creative business' next steps. The tools featured here are focused on planning and mapping out the next stage. They help you to build a thorough, practical business case and to look for fundraising in the right places. After using these tools, you'll have a strategy in place. You'll also know where to start with partnership working, change management and marketing and communications.
1. Strategy and Planning
Tools for understanding where your business is positioned How resilient is your business? Factors to think about to ensure your business survives Strategic group mapping: A mechanism for understanding the other players that operate in your field
2. Change management
Tools for understanding change projects The agreement/certainty matrix: A complexity based tool to support you in assessing your activities and decisions Change quadrants: Another way of looking at the nature of change and your business culture
3. Marketing and communications
Tools for assessing your markets, products and/or services Portfolio analysis – where do you make your money? A well-used tool for analyzing your products and/or services Business growth options –Matrix: to help you consider the markets or sectors you operate in Customer relationship management – a maturity checklist: A rating tool to help you consider your approach to CRM Getting social - a social media tool: helps you consider whether it is the right approach for you
4. Creative problem solving
Tools to open up your problem solving approaches Gordon/Little technique: A problem solving technique that encourages you step right back from the problem Problem reversal: Take your problem and turn it on its head, see what new insights that gives Attribute listing: A approach to problem solving where you break it down into its various attributes Assumption reversal: An approach to turning your problems on their head
Stage Four: How to make it happen
This stage is about putting your plans into action. By now you will have assessed your business, examined future opportunities, and put an in-depth strategy in place. After all that planning, these tools will help you to make things happen. After using these tools, you'll be running an efficient, focused creative business and be in the best possible place for the future upturn.
1. Change Management
Transformational and transactional change: A model to look at different aspects of change and interdependencies in organisations An eight-stage change process: A tool to help you consider the steps needed in a change project for your business
An approach to helping you prioritize your activities Paired comparisons: A rating mechanism for deciding between different alternatives Urgent or important: A mechanism for helping you prioritize your workload
Outcomes focused: Some big questions to help you think about your outcomes Monitoring and evaluation framework checklist: A tool to walk you through setting up monitoring systems Monitoring and reporting: A framework for introducing an integrated approach to evaluation